Home > Knowledge, Manhaj (Methodology) > Calling to Islam Without Distorting Its Image

Calling to Islam Without Distorting Its Image

Calling to Islaam While Preserving It’s Honor

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Abdil-Wahhaab al-Aqeel

Reference: Private sitting with the Shaikh, later translated on Thursday January 25th 2007, corresponding to 7th Muharram 1428
Category: Da’wah

“O Sheikh we desire from you some clarification on how the Da’ee or the student of knowledge can be effective and successful in giving Da’wah in spite of living in the West, and how is he to respond to such questions which are prone to controversy without tarnishing the honor of Islam?”

Sheikh: First of all it is not appropriate for anyone to speak about the religion of Islam except the Ulamaa and the students of knowledge. Nothing has been more damaging and detrimental to this religion of Islam than those ignorant individuals who take it upon themselves to speak about the religion. For they neither speak with knowledge nor Hikmah (i.e. wisdom) and Allah Azza wa Jala stated:

ادعوا إلى سبيل ربك با لحكمة والموعظة الحسنة و جادلهم با لتي هي أحسن

“Call to the path of your Lord with wisdom and good admonition and argue in ways which are best”

And Allah stated:

و لا تجادل أهل الكتاب إلا بالتي هي أحسن

“And don’t argue with the people of the Book except in ways which are best”

You see, this issue of giving Da’wah deserves some Fiqh (i.e. understanding). Hence not everything you know you mention for example, what is appropriate to say in Madinah is not appropriate to say in Makka, what is appropriate to say in Makka may not be the best thing to say in Egypt, and that which is appropriate to say in Egypt may not appropriate to say in Britain, and what may be appropriate to say in Britain may not be appropriate to say in America. Many of these affairs require for the individual to be wise, intelligent and to have deep insight especially since there is an agenda against Islam. Rather the Da’ee or student of knowledge should mention what is enough to obtain his objective and get his point across without going into too many details fearing that the listener may not comprehend the details of certain matters or may misconstrue what he hears which could eventually turn out to be detrimental for him in his religion, similar to the Prophet (Sallahu alaihi wa salam) when he said about the individual:

بأ أخو عشيرة

“…What an evil companion he is…”

But when he entered the house of the Prophet he smiled with him and dealt with him in a handsome manner. Meaning the Prophet (Sallahu alaihi wa salam) never expressed to him, directly, the way he felt about him fearing the harm that it may cause. Da’wah today, especially in the west is in need of Ulamaa and Fuqahaa, those who know the difference between what is beneficial and what is detrimental and harmful. May Allah preserve you everyone of us knows, without a doubt, what is beneficial and we all know what is detrimental but when harm and benefit are combined in one situation at the same time who knows how to deal with it? Just as the Prophet (Sallahu alaihi wa salam) said:

إن الحلال بين و الحرام بين و بينهما أمور مشتبهات لا يعلمهن كثير من الناس…

“Indeed the Halal is clear and the Haram is clear and between them are doubtful matters which many of the people have no knowledge of…”

For indeed every Muslim knows what is Halal and what is Haram but as it relates to the doubtful matters, those which are Haram from one angle and Halal from another angle? Very few understand them. It is not incumbent upon you if you are asked, “What is the legal ruling in Islam concerning homosexuality? To respond with such details as you have studied but rather you should say that yes homosexuality in Islam is forbidden and it is a crime which is punishable by the Islamic legal justice system. If they say: “So what is the capital punishment?” then you reply that they should turn to the Islamic legal justice system and they will find the answer which they are looking for. It is neither incumbent upon you as a Da’ee nor as a student of knowledge to respond to such questions nor mention everything that you know when you do decide to respond. Another thing that has to be understood, may Allah preserve you, is that Islam is a complete systematic way of life and constitution and with this is mind, it is not from wisdom, intellect, integrity and justice on the part of the Da’ee or the student of knowledge to single out one component or portion of this complete system and debate it whether with the Muslims, who lack understanding of the fundamental principles of the religion, or with the non- Muslims those who lack understanding of the religion all together due to the distorted perceptions which they hold about it I will give you an example: consider the fact that a car moves due to all of the components which make up an automobile, but if you were to take a single part from the engine then you would say that it is a worthless piece which has no benefit or value due to the fact that it is a separate entity by itself. But if you were to take that same piece and put it along with the other components which make the car then it plays an important role like the rest of the parts and you will understand that the car cannot function with out it nor is the piece of any worth without the car!! Likewise the capital punishments in Islam, the legislative rulings, the issues related to Walaa and Baraa (allegiance and disassociation) and other components which make up the religion, if you were to look at them one by one as separate entities perhaps you may not see the wisdom or the benefit in them, but if you were to look at them in light of the other components which make up the religion in totality then perhaps you will see their significance and importance. May Allah preserve you when the religion of Islam was made up of one component in the Holy City of Makka there was nothing but Tawheed (i.e. Monotheism). This was the only component of the religion of Islam during that time There was no prayer, no fasting rather the Muslims were free to pray as they desired during the day and night. There was no fasting, no Zakat, no Hajj, nor were there any capital punishments, rather the Muslims still used to drink alcohol because drinking alcohol did not conflict nor contradict the principle of Tawheed, but when did drinking alcohol conflict with the religion? When they migrated to Madinah and various legislations of the religion were revealed, for when the Salat was made compulsory then at that time drinking alcohol conflicted with the religion as Allah says:

…ولا تقربوا الصلاة حتى تعلمون ما تقولون…

“…And do not come to the prayer in a drunken state until you can understand what you are saying…”

Do you see o noble brothers? Therefore it is a mistake for a Da’ee or student of knowledge to debate about one particular component of the religion, without considering the fact that the religion is a complete system which, it is imperative for the Da’ee or the student of knowledge, to begin with its fundamental principles, for example, has he says: “Today I am going to debate the issue of the capital punishment for Zina (i.e. fornication).” This is incorrect, rather it is not permissible for you to debate the issue of the capital punishment for Zina as an isolated and independent entity because the people will never be convinced! They will not understand! Or he says: “I am going to debate the issue of the Hijab (the covering of the Muslim women in Islam) for the people will never be convinced nor agree with it because it is an isolated entity or component taken from a whole complete system but rather his position should be to debate the foundation of this complete system, for example, the beauty of Islam and what the religion of Islam did to this society over 1400 years ago when the people learned through the religion of Islam the true meaning of brotherhood, they were united and loved one another.

Islam entered into the heart of an individual who was before, a wild savage and then all of the sudden he is gentle, subtle, caring and loving. He now loves his mother whereas before he used to hit her and disrespect her, but now he kisses her feet out of respect and reverence for her. And the fact that he used to be oppressive to his wife and everyday he would beat her and then take sexual pleasure in her and after two months of being with her he divorces her, puts her out and moves on to the next woman but now this same individual fears his Lord concerning her rights in Islam and is conscious of her feelings, he cries and is concerned about his wife and children. What was it that changed him? It was the religion of Islam!! So look at Islam starting from its foundation, for the West is in need of proper representation of the religion because those who have personal agendas against the religion of Islam are strong , they are not little children. They are strong and organized, rather they are powerful countries, organizations and experienced individuals and groups who have personal and political agendas against the religion of Islam and they not going to be refuted by some small inexperienced student of knowledge who just graduated from the Arabic language program, or someone who considers himself to be a student but did not actually study the religion. These people should either be refuted with sound knowledge or the individual should keep silent.

 The issue is not for the student of knowledge to hasten to the forefront after he graduates, as it is said: The ignorant friend will harm you more than an intelligent enemy. For the enemy who is intelligent, may harm you or put you in a difficult position or situation, but the ignorant friend will harm you in more ways than you realize. These people they are not going to just hold you accountable for one word you say and then its over! Rather they have future plans and strategies, they compile books and so forth. So don’t take things on face value and eventually causing more harm to yourself and the religion than good and we seek Allah’s assistance.

Therefore it is incumbent on the Da’ee and the student of knowledge to be wise and understand that these affairs have to be looked at in totality because the problem in the west is that they single out one aspect of the religion scrutinize it and build there perception of the whole religion based on that one aspect for example they say: “Why can’t the women in Saudi Arabia drive?” or they say “Why can’t Muslim women work?” or “Why can the man marry two or three wives?” We marry two and three wives to prevent us from committing adultery and fornication. If you were to ask one of them: How many times have you committed adultery or fornication? Some may even reply: “over a hundred times!” Is this something that an intelligent person would say? Is this something to brag and boast about? You commit this indecent act and at the same time you are responsible for spreading AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases and corruption in the earth. This is the problem in the West that they take from the doubtful matters of the religion which are probable to criticism and totally neglect those aspects which are unambiguous and logical to everyone.

For example, the issue of polygyny in Islam, rather even the Muslim women are uncomfortable with this issue due to their severe jealousy at times or due to their lack of understanding the wisdom of Allah in legislating it at others, so they find a Muslim woman who is uncomfortable with polygyny and give her an interview, which I have seen with my own eyes, and ask her what she thinks about polygyny? So she will reply by saying she doesn’t like it and she is uncomfortable with it, then they will say: “See look! Even the Muslim woman doesn’t like polygyny!! Look at how Islam oppresses their women!!” They take bits and pieces of the religion, but I swear by Allah if Islam was to be presented to them completely, inclusively and thoroughly, I swear by Allah there would be none on the face of the earth except they would enter in the religion f Islam wholeheartedly except for those who are just to arrogant and jealous to do so.

So the role of the Da’ee and student of knowledge is to teach and educate the laymen from the Muslims that Zina is haram, and Riba (usury) is haram and homosexuality is Haram. Although Allah has not made the in-depth details of such delicate issues incumbent upon the laymen rather if they died and were ignorant of such in-depth details it would not harm them in the least Teach and educate them that Islam came to perfect moral behavior and character and teach them Tawheed, educate them and emphasize the fact that Allah is to be singled out alone for worship and that servitude to anyone or anything other than Allah is Shirk(i.e. polytheism) and other than this from those affairs which are incumbent on every Muslims to know and have complete understanding of like Salat and its rulings, Siyam (i.e. fasting) and its rulings, Zakat and its rulings and Hajj and its rulings. I live right here in the capital of Tawheed and I mentioned one time in a lesson that going to the extreme with the righteous and pious and making Anasheed about them can lead to Shirk (Polytheism i.e. associating partners with Allah) and some people had a problem with that! I said no different than the eminent noble Sheikh Abdul Aziz Ibn Baz (May Allah have mercy on him) said, and they still had a problem with it and we live right here in the capital of Tawheed!! So how much more is it going to be in your countries?! So understanding the religion is imperative for the Da’ee and the student of knowledge and for those students who hasten to the forefront without any knowledge then it is obligatory on them to fear Allah and not to speak about the religion of Islam except with sound knowledge because everything they do and say is going to be evaluated and scrutinized. So don’t be hasty, o noble brothers, to be in the forefront, but if there is no way around it then it is upon you to teach the people the affairs of the religion which are clear and unambiguous from the halal and the haram and leave alone the doubtful matters and when they come to you with these affairs say: “I understand that Zina is haram and the Salat is compulsory!” And when they ask you about the rulings regarding Jihad then say: “I don’t know! Go to the scholars of Islam for we have senior scholars in Islam whom you can go to and ask them whatever you like but they have only taught me what is incumbent upon me to practice of my religion in my country as for the details of these affairs I don’t know”

Translator: Shadeed Muhammad, Abu Az-Zubayr
Date Published: Monday, 12 February 2007
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The translator affirms the accuracy of his translation of this article. Should you have any comment(s) and/or correction(s) to suggest, please write to us at:

…and your email will be passed on to him, inshaa.-Allaah.

الشيخ محمد بن عبد الوهاب العقيل


Arabic source pending publication

أبو الزبير شديد محمد

  1. abu suliman
    October 12, 2008 at 1:24 am

    the (a’ayah) was written in wrong way (ولا تقربوا الصلاة حتى تعلمون ما تقولون…) it not like that it is (يا أيها الذين آمنوا لاتقربو الصلاة وانتم سكارى حتى تعلموا ما تقولون ) alnesa’a 43
    thanks to you and speacialy for brother Abu Azubayr

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